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Like many readers you probably turn to the Basic and Quick Tips section of The HP Palmtop Paper the minute you get the newsletter out of its wrapper. Often you'll find a tip that is just what you were looking for. Most of the time you may read a tip and tell yourself to remember it for a "rainy day". Of course that day seldom happens but when it does, you might spend hours trying to track down where you saw the tip.
Over the past seven years there have been close to 250 different Basic Tips and 375 Quick Tips. published in these pages. Flipping through back issues or searching through the electronic edition of the Paper is still a time consuming task.
I gave up trying to commit these tips to memory several years ago. I reasoned that since the tips were all Palmtop related the Palmtop itself should remember them for me. So I started a couple of databases called BTIPS and QTIPS and entered those tips that I found useful.
Since taking on the job of editing The HP Palmtop Paper, I've completed both databases. Now they contain not only the tips that I found interesting but rather ALL the tips that have been published in these pages. The databases have already proved their worth. When someone submits a new tip I can search the databases for key words and tell in a couple of seconds if we've published a similar tip and the issue in which it appeared.
The databases both have a record structure that includes the following fields:
Frequency (i.e., the number of times the same tip has been published. Hopefully there will be no re-runs again.)
HP (95/100/200) LX ( Is this tip specific to a particular machine?)
Category (e.g. Calc, Memo, 123, etc.)
Note (the actual tip)
The BTIPS.GDB file is about 340 Kbytes and the QTIPS.GDB is almost 500 Kbytes in size. Each database has its own set of up to 16 subsets for faster browsing. Each database is current as of the Nov/Dec, 1998 issue of the HP Palmtop Paper.
I've decided to give away what I've created. The files will be included on the 1999 CD InfoBase Also by the time you read this the archive file, TROISGDB.ZIP, should also be available for downloading from www.PalmtopPaper.com.
"Trois" means "three" in French. So what's the third GDB file?
The third database in the set is my final version of the long awaited DOSHELP.GDB file. It contains 135 records that hold all the information in the DOS 5.0 HELP database but in a format that is better suited to the HP Palmtop. I've also included several items that pertain to DOS 6.22 as well as the help for EDLIN, the ANSI.SYS Esc sequences and a few undocumented DOS tips.
HP has given us tacit permission to distribute this information as part of the DOS 5.0 set of files. We were not able to put the DOSHELP file on CompuServe without getting involved in copyright issues.
For your browsing pleasure, I highly recommend the DBV.EXE program by Harry Konstas to view these databases. It has an ONLY key (F6) that will let you create subsets on the fly. For instance, I noticed that I didn't create a "system macro" subset in either of the databases. No problem: I simply pressed F6 in DBV and specified macro as String 1 and system as String 2 and checked the AND option and unchecked the Include notes box. Within a few seconds I had a subset of 20 tips that dealt with System Macros. Cool!
Hopefully you'll find these databases of value. You may even add your own items to them and when you do please send a copy of your tip to firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll undoubtedly see it in print and in any future updates to the databases.
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